Niels J. Melius

Niels J. Melius

Associate, Litigation


Niels Melius focuses his litigation practice on complex commercial and intellectual property disputes, including business torts, contract cases, antitrust matters, and patent, trademark, and trade secret lawsuits. He has conducted several internal investigations and responded to government inquiries relating to potential accounting irregularities and improper business practices.

Mr. Melius has extensive experience interfacing with clients and managing complex litigation, including negotiating and managing e-discovery, briefing and motion practice, preparing and defending fact witnesses for depositions, and trial preparation.

Select matters include representing:

  • the National Football League in connection with securing dismissal on summary judgment of a class action filed by retired players alleging the fraudulent administration of painkiller medications. This case was recognized as one of the Daily Journal’s Top Verdicts for 2017;   
  • Juno Therapeutics, Inc. in a breach-of-contract (patent license) dispute;
  • Intuitive Surgical Inc. in a rescission and breach-of-contract action and in several products liability lawsuits in federal and state courts;
  • The Walt Disney Company and certain directors and executives in a Ninth Circuit appeal of a derivative action arising from an alleged conspiracy to reduce labor competition and depress employee wages in the animation industry;
  • a client in responding to inquiries from the Department of Justice (DOJ) and the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC); and
  • a client in an internal investigation stemming from whistleblower allegations relating to potential accounting irregularities.

Select matters prior to joining Skadden include representing:

  • Apple, Spotify and Xilinx Inc. in patent infringement lawsuits;
  • in a trademark infringement appeal in the Sixth Circuit;
  • Office Depot in an FTC merger review of its failed acquisition by Staples, including participating in a trial-like preliminary injunction hearing;
  • DIRECTV in a DOJ merger review and clearance of its $48.5 billion sale to AT&T;
  • JPMorgan and several other underwriters in a securities fraud class action; and
  • a client in an internal investigation and a government inquiry from the SEC.

Mr. Melius maintains an active pro bono practice in the areas of immigration and criminal justice reform, including as first chair during an immigration hearing in which he obtained asylum on behalf of a mother and her physically disabled son.

Prior to law school, Mr. Melius was an economic consultant at Deloitte LLP in Washington, D.C., and San Francisco.



  • J.D., Vanderbilt University Law School, 2013
  • B.S., Georgetown University, 2005


  • California
  • U.S. Court of Appeals for the Ninth Circuit
  • U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California
  • U.S. District Court for the Central District of California

Niels J. Melius